A Doxology of Doctrine During Distressing Days #7

Sunday, April 7, 2013

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV).

A brief, light annoyance—an everlasting, much heavier weight of praise and worship….

While difficult circumstances are not enjoyable, they can be learning opportunities. Even the Apostle Paul needed spiritual growth. He finally learned how to change his outlook on suffering: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:11-13).

The “treasure in earthen vessels” of 2 Corinthians 4:7, the “power of Christ” of 2 Corinthians 12:9, and the “inward man being renewed day by day” of 2 Corinthians 4:16, are summarized in Philippians 4:13—“Christ which strengtheneth me.” Hence, Paul wrote, “for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

God’s abundant grace (2 Corinthians 12:9) enabled Paul and Timothy to endure suffering in order to minister to these Corinthian believers: “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:15). God strengthened them, which caused other believers to be thankful to God for giving Paul and Timothy provisions in Christ that got them through their difficult circumstances.

The spiritual fortitude and spiritual growth that resulted in these believers helped them to better understand how to deal with their own troubles, and it stored in their inner man the capacity to eternally function one day in the heavenly places for God’s glory. Therefore, this doxology—this praise to God—is not only here and now, but literally “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (today’s Scripture).

Remember, the issue is not the vessels—our frail, perishing physical bodies—but rather the treasure—the life of Jesus Christ—they contain. A doxology indeed! 🙂

Fearful Versus Fearless

Monday, February 4, 2013

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).

As our world wallows in fear and uncertainty, we have peace and strength in Christ.

In recent months, I have spoken to Christians and lost people who are concerned about national and world events. Both lost and saved people alike know that our culture, especially in the United States, is undergoing significant change. Decades ago, one Christian brother lamented, “Society’s moral fabric is rotting.” I wonder what he would say today?! To exacerbate the situation, the quality of much of Christendom’s teaching and preaching is just as godless and unscriptural as society’s morality. But there is hope!

God did not take us to heaven the moment we trusted Christ as our personal Saviour. Instead, He left us here on earth. Why? Jesus Christ, “the light of the world” (John 8:12), now lives in us members of His Body. We Christians are the vessels in which God has deposited the life of His Son, so He can then manifest His spiritual light to this dark world! Beloved, it is our privilege to be here as “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Let us not shrink away in fear.

Instead of being fearful and hiding in our homes to avoid the evil world system, we can be fearless beacons of hope and light in and to this lost and dying world. Paul’s encouraging words to the Philippians were: “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” (2:14-16).

We, the Church the Body of Christ, may be a small group of people, and yes, we King James Bible Pauline dispensationalists are a remnant within that remnant, but God Almighty is on our side, and nothing He does is in vain. Let us fearlessly continue in sound Bible doctrine!

The Person of the Year

Monday, December 31, 2012

“Wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11 KJV).

Behold, 2012’s “Person of the Year!”

At every year’s end, society selects a “person of the year,” someone who, either for better or for worse, influenced the past year’s events the most. While often considered an honor, some of the candidates are less than commendable. This is never the case for the true “Person of the Year!”

As intelligent creatures, we (should) realize that we have an intelligent Creator God. As Christians, we (should) value that which God honors. As Pauline dispensationalists, we (should) know what God’s Word teaches about Himself and His purpose and plan for us and for creation as a whole. Who is this Creator? What (or whom) does God esteem? Why did God create the heaven and the earth? The answer to all three questions is… JESUS CHRIST!

Sinful man does not like it, but Jesus Christ will be praised forever. The atheists, religionists, skeptics, non-Christians, agnostics, and all the other naysayers will be disappointed, for “the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” is supreme. In fact, just before they are cast into the lake of fire, banished from His presence forever, they will bow before Jesus Christ, and admit His authority!

This past year, Jesus Christ was faithful, accomplishing amazing things in our lives. Some of us He saved this past year; He saved us from death, sin, hell, and ourselves. He saved us from false teaching: He gave us spiritual nourishment, daily renewing our minds as we studied and believed His Word, the King James Bible. He brought us joy, peace, and comfort in the midst of our trials and heartaches. Indeed, like He does every year, the Lord Jesus Christ has impacted the world the most… and to Him alone be the glory! 🙂

Dear saints, as we now close another year in the writing ministry, we have some fascinating daily Bible studies planned for next year. If you have any Bible questions or suggestions that you would like me to write about in a devotional or full-length Bible study, send the comments to me at arcministries@gmail.com. Thank you.

Be Not of the “So What!” Persuasion

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21 KJV).

As the Christmas Season winds down, we remind ourselves to be thankful saints, not spoiled brats.

Having recently witnessed ungrateful children unwrap their numerous Christmas presents, and then whine in dissatisfaction, I could not help but think of today’s Scripture. Most of mankind shares this unthankful attitude when it concerns God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. They willfully trample the energy, time, and funds used to purchase the gifts!

Before God gave up the Gentile nations of Genesis chapters 1-11, and before He began to form the nation Israel in Genesis chapter 12, He had given Gentiles 2,000 years to approach Him by faith and to accomplish His purpose on earth. Nevertheless, the Gentiles (nations) wanted nothing to do with God. Hence, God chose Abraham to be His servant, to be the father of a new nation, Israel, a people He could use to fulfill His will on earth. Today’s Scripture describes the Gentiles while God dealt with Abraham and his seed—they had empty, worthless thoughts and callous, unbelieving hearts (today’s Scripture). This spiritual darkness plagues much of mankind even today!

Sadly, Israel was just as unthankful and unbelieving toward God as the Gentiles were! They worshipped and served the same silly idols, they wallowed in the same spiritual ignorance, and they too were content in leading vain, godless lives. They had a chance to know the God of heaven and earth, but they spurned that opportunity to worship and serve everything else. Let us not be as foolish, dear readers.

Let us always be thankful that God was gracious enough to “love the unlovely,” to “give heaven’s best to save earth’s worst,” to “offer heaven to those who deserve hell,” and to “give life to the dead.” Let us not treat lightly the high price of eternal life—the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. God offers eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. Let us open that gift by simple faith, avoiding the “So what!” persuasion.

Anonymous

Thursday, November 29, 2012

“And I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow-labourers, whose names are in the book of life” (Philippians 4:3 KJV).

Although the name of the Christian is unknown, the name of Jesus Christ, which the unknown Christian preached, is well known.

I recently met a dear brother in Christ who has a television ministry. He explained how viewers do not always know his name when they write him letters, but they do remember what he taught from the Bible. His mentality was, “As long as they took notice of what God’s Word says, my name is unimportant.” We should share that attitude, dear brethren in Christ.

We read about “a brother” whom Paul sent with Titus to Corinth, but he is never named (2 Corinthians 8:18,22; 2 Corinthians 12:18). In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul exhorts an unknown Christian (signified by the second-person singular pronoun, “thee,” as opposed to the plural “you”). We read about one, Clement, but that “true yoke-fellow” charged to help the women who worked with Paul in the ministry, is nameless. What mattered is that that person’s name was “in the book of life” (God’s record of the Christians’ names).

To the world, we Christians are “nobodies.” As 2 Corinthians 6:9 expresses, “[We are] unknown, and yet well known…” They know about the message we preach, but they know little to nothing about us individuals. What matters most in life is not that we Christians become the most famous people in the world. In light of eternity, what matters is to know God through Jesus Christ, and thus, become “known of God (Galatians 4:9).

If no one remembers our names, despite our ministry work in the Lord, let us rejoice that at least the name of the Lord Jesus Christ went forth. After all, only His name “is above every name,” and furthermore, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Let us Christians in the ministry be content to remain “anonymous.” 🙂

In Every Thing Give Thanks

Thursday, November 22, 2012

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV).

Dear saints, take a moment this Thanksgiving to learn a valuable lesson from the Holy Scriptures!

God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4). To be “saved” here means you have been rescued from the penalty of sin (hell and the lake of fire), and that you have a home in heaven, because you have trusted the death, shed blood, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for your sins. To “come unto the knowledge of the truth” is when a person who has trusted Christ, begins to understand why God saved him or her, and how God will use him or her for His glory. Although soul salvation is instantaneous, spiritual maturity is a life-long process (that is especially true regarding handling difficulties, the grace way!).

It is human nature to avoid difficulties and stress, to flee them, rather than confront them. This self-preservation is advantageous, particularly in “life or death” situations. However, running from troubling circumstances is not the way God has designed our life in Christ to function. Today’s Scripture says, In every thing give thanks,” notFor every thing give thanks.” We do not thank God for our troubles; we thank God while we are enduring those troubles. This is tough, I know, but it takes time for us to learn it. Even the Apostle Paul had to learn this.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Be thankful in every thing. God’s grace is sufficient for you, dear saint, in all of life’s circumstances. When you learn this, you are “[coming] unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

*Excerpted from a larger Bible study with the same name. That study can be read here or watched here.

Your Right to Eat Meat

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

“For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4,5 KJV).

Before we advocate animal rights, let us understand that we have a God-given right to eat them!

An animal rights activist recently appeared on television to complain about the consumption of turkeys on Thanksgiving. He argued that turkeys “feel pain” when they are slaughtered, and thus we should not eat them. His line of reasoning was, “If we would not eat our pet dog, then we should not eat turkey.” Such people, despite their sincerity, are ignorant of today’s Scripture.

Originally, all people and animals were herbivores; they only ate vegetation. “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so” (Genesis 1:29,30).

Then, sin entered, and God incorporated meat into the human diet: “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat” (Genesis 9:3,4).

When we ignore the fact that God gave us animals to eat, and we demand that others must also abstain from meat for religious (nature-worshipping) purposes, that is a “doctrine of devils” in this dispensation (1 Timothy 4:1-5). The creature should not be worshipped; only the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, should be worshipped (Romans 1:25). As long as we thank the Lord for whatever creatures we eat, consuming animal flesh is acceptable and godly. It does not sit well with the pantheists—who exalt nature as God—but it is approved of the living God, and that alone ultimately matters.